So we're having a neighborhood yard sale this Saturday, which has gotten me in a major cleaning-out mode. I've had a huge pile of castaway items stacking up in our basement for almost a year now, and am making one final swoop through the house before the Big Day. In the process, I happened upon some articles, etc. that I had photocopied or torn out and set aside as "important" to me at some point in the past 8 or 10 years.
Here's one that I distinctly remember copying because it seemed so very accurate to my life at the time. As I ran across it again, at least seven years later, as much as I resist being pigeon-hold into gender stereotypes or worse yet, excusing my behavior because of hormones (okay, well maybe I don't really resist that...!), it still resonates with me. I didn't write down any information about the book from which I copied it, but I am assuming it was from some type of daily devotional for women. The title of the book is "Joy for the Journey," but when I google that title, I can't find any information about the actual book. (I am, however, directed to a website of a young evangelist who looks to be about sixteen...!) So I find myself wondering if it does with any other women out there who very clearly ride that monthly "hormonal roller coaster" as I do. I'd love to hear feedback!
"Understanding Your Emotions" by Kathy Babbitt, Habits of the Heart, as found in "Joy for the Journey," p. 19.
"The difference in estrogen levels in a woman's body during various times of the month correlates to a predictable pattern of behaviors and emotions. In general, during the first week of her cycle she is outgoing, ambitious, optimistic, and self-confident. (FYI, this is where I am now...) During the second week she is hopeful, easygoing, creative,...and has inner strength and a sense of well-being.... The third week she lacks coordination, longs for peace,...is impatient,...and gloomy. The fourth week she is very irritable, touchy, withdrawn,...and lacks self-confidence.
(still quoting) "Whew! Is it any wonder that interpersonal conflicts sometimes seem to come from nowhere? Naturally, these characteristics are not true for all women, and some women struggle with them more than others. Maybe you need to tell yourself, 'Tomorrow or next week will be better' or 'It will soon pass, just hang in there!'" (end quote)
I sometimes walk a fine line between wanting to scream to those around me--especially those who seem to have "issues" with me--"This is me, love me or leave me!" and looking in the mirror and thinking "I don't like you so much today, and it's no wonder others don't either! Let's see what we can do about that, shall we?" And sometimes, I really feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But when I really pay attention to my life, my moods, and my hormonal cycle, this truly seems to make sense to me. Speaking for my husband (albeit without his consent), I think he really loves being married to me during weeks one and two, and could live without me during that third week, and would just as soon leave me during that fourth week. (Feel free to weigh in on this, honey...!)
So anyone, for those of you reading this, what do you think? Am I just crazy, or trying to figure out something for which there is no predictable pattern? Is unpredictability really a GOOD thing, one to be embraced? Or is there something to learning who we are as women, and how we operate physically, chemically, and emotionally that will help us live a richer, fuller, more God-centered life?